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Analysis: The US Capitol attack fits into the history of White backlash

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 16%. 1 min read.

A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

A pro-Trump mob in thrall to White supremacy and incited by President Donald Trump laid siege to the US Capitol on January 6. With their Confederate flags and zip ties in hand, rioters sought to overturn the legitimate election that President-elect Joe Biden won two months ago.

White backlash to racial equality -- including an empowered Black electorate -- isn't unusual.

White backlash was also apparent during the struggle for Black freedom in the mid-20th century.

It referred to cities with high Black populations that broke for Biden and was said in support of Trump, whom the journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates in 2017 called the country's "first White president. "

Crucially, while Trump's loss in November -- and more precisely, the outgoing President's false claims that a free and fair election was fraudulent -- was the most immediate catalyst of last week's iteration of White backlash, Trump didn't create the underlying racial resentment.

While the seizure of the Capitol demonstrated anew that White backlash can lead to a brutal end, Georgia's runoff elections on January 5 illustrated that it's possible to thwart weaponized racial grievance.

"I think that it's important not to predict that we're fated to be controlled by White backlash," Glickman said.

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